Happy 50th Birthday, Tom Cruise!

Top Gun star Tom Cruise will be putting his current marriage woes aside and flying high on Tuesday (03Jul12) when he turns 50.

The Hollywood hunk was hoping for a better birthday gift than divorce papers from his now-estranged wife Katie Holmes, but if we know Tom, he’ll come through smiling.

Despite his private problems, the star’s professional life is on a role thanks to the success of this year’s (12) Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and he has no plans to rest his ageing limbs anytime soon, with future roles lined up in films like sci-fi thriller Oblivion and action blockbuster Jack Reacher.

Flop Rock of Ages aside, Cruise has become one of the world’s biggest movie stars and boasts a career that spans over 30 glorious years.

WENN has put together 10 fascinating facts about Hollywood’s most enduring star to mark the birthday boy’s big day. Happy birthday, Tom!

– The Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses that Cruise’s cocky pilot Maverick wore in Top Gun enjoyed a 40 per cent surge in sales after the film’s release. The U.S. Air Force and Navy also enjoyed a huge boost in recruitment.

– Cruise has been married three times – to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes. The unions all ended while his wives were 33.

– A keen Scientologist, Cruise became involved in the religion in 1990 and is now considered their most high-profile member. He credits Scientology with helping him overcome his dyslexia.

– Cruise and his production partner Paula Wagner took over Charlie Chaplin’s United Artists film studio in 2005.

– He’s the first actor to have grossed $100 million (£62.5 million) with five different movies at the US box office – A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Mission: Impossible, and Jerry Maguire.

– The news that Cruise was playing the devilish Lestat in Interview with the Vampire sparked a casting controversy as even the book’s author Anne Rice publicly denounced the choice. However, she and many fans were quick to apologise after seeing his performance.

– Cruse isn’t just an action man for the cameras. The real life daredevil has his own pilot’s licence and performs most of his breathtaking stunts, including the nerve-shredding climb up the world’s tallest tower in the latest Mission: Impossible movie.

– Tom was Oscar-nominated for his role as a wheelchair-bound Vietnam war veteran in Born on the Fourth of July, and he stayed in his wheelchair off set as much as possible during filming.

– Cruise turned down the leading roles in Footloose, Ghost, Iron Man and Speed.

– Before Angelina Jolie played a superspy in 2010’s Salt, Cruise was originally attached to the part. However, when he dropped out the film’s bosses flipped the gender and cast Jolie.